Hitmetrix - User behavior analytics & recording

Is Subway a Digital Marketing Disaster?

Subway Ranking
Subway Ranking

In today’s digital world, a company’s success is directly tied to how well it manages its online reputation. Brands can no longer afford to turn a blind eye to customer comments and reviews in this age of internet activism. Interesting insights concerning the internet reputation of major fast-food chains were uncovered in a recent research by SOCi, a leading platform for multi-location marketers. Subway fared the poorest among these chains, illustrating the need of vigilant reputation management in the cutthroat hospitality sector.

Research Results

The survey ranked fast food restaurants based on how well their internet reputation measured up to customers’ expectations. Fast food restaurants that specialize on burgers, such McDonald’s, Arby’s, Wendy’s, and Burger King, fared higher than pizza joints. The average of these fast food burger joints was 43.5, which is somewhat lower than the average of all eateries (45). Pizza Hut, on the other hand, did better than most pizza restaurants but worse than the best burger joints. Pizza places like Little Caesar’s and Domino’s did poorly. The average pizza chain’s reputation score was 37, much lower than the average for all businesses.

Consequences of Ghosting

Ghosting was a consistent problem at all of the low-scoring restaurants, including Subway. Avoiding responses to comments, reviews, or inquiries from customers online is known as “ghosting.” Less people will buy food from you and your brand will lose loyalty if you operate in this way. SOCi estimates that U.S. chains lose $14.07 billion in value per year due to ghosting.

Brands can’t afford to ignore online criticism in this day and age, says Monica Ho, Chief Marketing Officer at SOCi. “Consumers are more empowered and vocal than ever,” she says. Managing your company’s internet reputation proactively is essential to your company’s success and should be treated as such. In order to build trust, increase engagement, and keep ahead of the competition, it’s crucial to respond to comments, both favorable and negative, from customers.

The Value of Contingency Plans

Brands require a reaction strategy to properly manage their online image. The corporate level is the starting point for this strategy, and it should include standards for responding to evaluations in a uniform manner. Equally crucial, however, is setting up the means to effectively react. A shop manager, social media team, or outside agency might be put in charge of responding to and monitoring local internet reviews.

Applying AI to Public Relations

Monica Ho also discussed how AI may be used to improve efficiency in the field of reputation management. Brands may prioritize their replies to reviews based on urgency and sentiment with the aid of AI. It can also provide tailored automatic answers, but they would still need human review. The result is increased productivity and strengthened client loyalty.

AI in Ad Agencies: A Look Behind the Scenes

Reputation management is only one area where AI can be a huge help, however. Big ad agencies are already using AI to improve their business processes. AI may help make advertising campaigns more efficient by aiding in areas such as creative creation, media planning, and optimization. Artificial intelligence algorithms may increase campaign success by making more informed decisions based on insights gleaned from massive data sets that people would overlook.

Managing Your Online Reputation in the Future

The topic of online reputation management is projected to develop as technology advances. In order to successfully manage their online presence, brands will need to use the most up-to-date technologies and techniques. Artificial intelligence (AI) and other developing technologies will play a crucial part in this transformation by enabling firms to track, evaluate, and react to customer feedback posted on the web in real time.


The necessity of preventative reputation management in the fast food sector is shown by Subway’s low internet reputation rating. Ignoring internet reviews may hurt your company’s credibility, which in turn can hurt your sales and your customers’ loyalty. Brands may more efficiently and effectively respond to client feedback by developing a response strategy and using AI. The use of artificial intelligence (AI) to streamline operations and boost customer satisfaction bodes well for the future of online reputation management.

See first source: Ad Age


1. Why is online reputation management important for companies in the digital world?

In today’s digital landscape, a company’s success is closely tied to its online reputation. Ignoring customer comments and reviews can lead to negative consequences in an era of internet activism.

2. What were the findings of SOCi’s recent research on fast-food chains’ internet reputation?

SOCi’s research ranked fast-food chains based on their internet reputation in comparison to customer expectations. Burger-focused chains like McDonald’s and Wendy’s scored higher than pizza joints, with Subway performing the poorest among these chains.

3. What is the concept of “ghosting” in the context of online reputation management?

“Ghosting” refers to the practice of not responding to customer comments, reviews, or inquiries online. It can lead to a decline in customer trust, loyalty, and revenue for a brand. SOCi estimates that U.S. chains lose $14.07 billion annually due to ghosting.

4. Why is responding to both positive and negative customer comments crucial?

According to Monica Ho, CMO at SOCi, consumers today are vocal and empowered. Proactively managing your company’s online reputation by responding to comments helps build trust, increase engagement, and stay competitive.

5. What is the importance of having a reaction strategy for online reputation management?

A reaction strategy helps manage a brand’s online image effectively. It involves setting up standards and processes for responding to reviews in a consistent manner. Assigning responsibility, whether to a shop manager, social media team, or agency, is also crucial.

6. How can AI be applied to online reputation management?

AI can enhance efficiency by prioritizing review responses based on urgency and sentiment. It can provide tailored automated responses, increasing productivity and customer loyalty. However, human review is still essential.

7. How is AI being used in the advertising industry?

AI is transforming advertising by improving creative creation, media planning, and campaign optimization. AI algorithms can make informed decisions based on large data sets, increasing campaign success.

8. How is online reputation management expected to evolve in the future?

As technology advances, online reputation management will incorporate the latest technologies and techniques. AI and other emerging technologies will enable real-time tracking, evaluation, and response to customer feedback.

9. What was the key takeaway from Subway’s low internet reputation rating?

Subway’s poor internet reputation rating highlights the necessity of proactive reputation management in the fast-food sector. Ignoring online reviews can harm credibility, sales, and customer loyalty.

10. How does AI contribute to the future of online reputation management?

The use of AI to streamline operations and enhance customer satisfaction holds promise for the future of online reputation management. It will enable brands to efficiently manage customer feedback and improve their overall image.

Featured Image Credit: Towfiqu barbhuiya; Unsplash – Thank you!

Related Posts
E-Book Popup

Unlock the Secrets of Digital Marketing in 2024!

Subscribe to our newsletter and get your FREE copy of “The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing Trends in 2024"